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National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS)

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Jim Brinkley

Jim Brinkley is the Director of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Department of Occupational Health and Safety. The IAFF, headquartered in Washington, D.C., represents more than 298,000 full-time professional fire fighters and paramedics who protect 85 percent of the nation’s population. More than 3,100 affiliates and their members protect communities in every state in the United States and in Canada.

Nothing matters more to IAFF members and their families than the health and safety of fire fighters and paramedics. The IAFF dedicates significant resources to the never-ending struggle to make a dangerous profession as safe as possible. The purpose of the IAFF’s Occupational Health and Safety Department is to identify hazards, develop and disseminate user friendly technical materials and information, and provide assistance so IAFF members can recognize and control the safety, health and medical needs associated with their profession.

Prior to coming to the IAFF, Jim served for more than 21 years with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, and 14 years as a member of the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters and Paramedics Association, IAFF local 1619 Executive Board. Jim has received several awards and commendations for his work in fire fighter health and safety. As a member of his departmental safety committee, he was responsible for evaluating and testing personal protective equipment including turn-out gear, PASS devices, and SCBA. At the time of his retirement he had just been re-elected as President of IAFF Local 1619. During his tenure he was instrumental in developing the Department’s wellness fitness program and “Fire Fighter Survival Program”. His efforts played a significant role in Local 1619 receiving the Congressional Fire Service Institute’s Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership.

In 2008, Jim received an award for being one of the original instructors with the IAFF Partnership Education Program.

Jim was responsible for overseeing the revisions for the 3rd edition of the IAFF/IAFC Wellness Fitness Initiative and the updates to the Peer Fitness Training (PFT) program. He directed collaborative initiatives with outside agencies to develop and implement a smoking cessation program and a hypertension awareness and treatment program. Jim also directed the development of the IAFF Fire Ground Survival Program and the revision of the IAFF Line of Duty Death and Injury Investigation Program. Jim serves as an Advisory Board Member for the National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting Program. In addition to these duties, Jim also provides expert testimony to assist in arbitration cases and passing presumptive cancer, heart and infectious disease legislation to assist IAFF members.